Customer gets his monkey on, with video

My service call to Madison appears to have been successful. I will hesitate to declare it a total success until a week or two of tough field testing validate the flawless performance we saw in yesterday’s trials, but I’m more than confident that we nailed it. I’ll give an account of the complex problem and solutions in a separate entry. Meanwhile, here’s Mike on the steepest hill we could find during our testing in the balmy mid-thirties:

Here’s a video clip of Mike climbing that grade at 12 MPH, in a medium gear. In a lower gear he’d be able to haul me as a passenger up a steeper hill, albeit more slowly.

Earlier that day, Mike took it up to 30 MPH on the flat as I shot. The noise is the buzz of his studded Nokian Hakkapeliitta tires.

video frameBut here’s the best clip of all: Mike hauled my 170-lb self up to 25 MPH on the flat as I held on with one hand and my camera with the other (14 MB .avi). If you want a close look at Stokemonkey in operation, this is it: notice that the motor is motionless in the first few frames of the clip as Mike pedals on his own. Then he engages the throttle and shifts to higher gears to get us up to speed. The noise is the wind.

The climbing, speed, quiet, and major hauling capacity documented in these clips are what Stokemonkey is all about at a technical level, and what I believe put X/SM in a class by itself among light vehicles. I’m very happy to have helped get Mike up and running reliably, and my installation and troubleshooting instructions will benefit substantially from the experience.

5 thoughts on “Customer gets his monkey on, with video”

  • Bill Manewal

    Congrats Mike and Todd!

    I mean really, what kind of CEO is going to hop on a plane and fly half way across the country to make sure 1 customer is happy, when that 1 customer’s purchase costs a tad less than a nuclear reactor? I’m impressed!

    I like the fact than in the first video of the 12 MPH climb, for just a moment, and just over the sound of rural air being, well, quietly rural, I can hear the familiar light growl of the the Monkey doing its stoking thing. I felt true kinship across the broadband!

    Man, it sure looks cold there! I guess I can’t complain about riding in the 50 deg. San Francisco rain!

  • Mike

    Thanks Bill. Yes, I completely agree. Todd’s customer service is amazing. I believe the trip was very valuable for Cleverchimp, as well as for me.

    The hill in the first video is a 15% grade, and I’m climbing it with ease. Typically it’s a short painful ordeal.

    Hmmm, 50 degrees and rainy? That ain’t winter. We’re experiencing spring-like conditions here 30-40F. I’m almost thinking about taking off the Nokian’s.

    If you listen carefully, you can hear the Monkey growl on the third clip also. I like the amount of sound the motor produces. It’s just loud enough to be informative about its status, and quiet enough to not interfere with the quietly rural ;-) ambience that can be found in the Madison WI (US) area.

  • George


    I really don’t need a Stokemonkey, but I really, really want one:-)

    Your customer service rocks.

  • Nicolas Nelson

    Ditto, George!

    And I’m hoping to use mine in South Lake Tahoe, on snowy roads and steep frozen driveways. Tell me about your studded Nokians: happy with them? Would you recommend them to others?

  • Erik Sandblom

    Nicolas, studded tyres are the best thing since sliced bread. I don’t know what makes are best, but in snow or ice they are a luxury. Better than fat mountain bike tyres too.

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